NAMIBIA – Namibian Ports Authority’s new N$4.2 billion (US$0.29bn) container terminal, built on 40 hectares of land that was reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean at Walvis Bay, is now fully operational.

Namport, is a state-owned enterprise managing principally the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz, as well as managing a Syncrolift dry dock facility in Walvis Bay.

Since the inauguration by president Hage Geingob a month ago, Namport has begun a massive relocation exercise, moving over 2 000 containers and large cranes from the old terminal to the new one.

The new terminal increases Nam­port’s container handling capacity from 355 000 twenty-foot equivalent units to 1 005 000 units.

Immanuel Tino !Hanabeb, Namports’ executive: commercial, said that the company looks forward to fully utilising the newly commissioned terminal, along with the cruise passenger liner jetty, Albatros, which is scheduled to call the Port of Walvis Bay at Berth 9 on 18 October 2019.

It will be the first ever passenger liner to make use of the new state of the art terminal, he added.

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller says he is keen to explore development in importing and exporting as well as vocational training with Namport.

Müller was on an official visit to Namibia in response to an invitation by President Hage Geingob.

During a brief interview Müller said, “We’re interested in developing export and cooperation, in particular cooperation with our ports in Hamburg and Bremen. We’re thinking about vocational training and obviously using that training to generate more business.”

He added they are keen on exploring vocational training and obviously using that training to generate more business for both Namibia and Germany.

According to Müller his visit was not only a familiarisation visit, as it also aimed at further strengthening bilateral relations between Namibia and the Federal Republic of Germany.

It is hoped the new terminal, which was built over five years, will not just benefit Namibia, but the greater economy of southern Africa, especially in terms of providing a sea-route for landlocked countries to the American, European and Asian markets.

The project has put Namibia on par with countries such as Australia, Brazil, Dubai and The Netherlands in the utilisation of reclaimed land for port expansion.

China Harbour Engineering Company was the main contractor for the new terminal, which has increased Namport’s assets to N$7,6 billion (US$0.52bn).